The Darker Side of Chateau Impney

Monday 4 December 2017

Chateau Impney during World War Two

Chateau Impney has a long and varied history. In 1939 it was requisitioned by the War Office in preparation for some of Britain’s darkest hours.

Then still known as Impney Hall, the Chateau was used during the war as billets for Officer Cadet Training Units, as well as a recruitment base for the Auxiliary Training Service and a base for Air Raid Protection Wardens.

The ugly face of war does however mean that there is also a darker side to the Chateau’s history. It is hard to believe that a prisoner of war camp was once housed in the grounds. The driveway that is now associated with the glamourous Hill Climb would once have been the final leg of a rather ominous journey to incarceration for captured Axis soldiers. It is believed that it was predominantly Italian soldiers that were held here at the Chateau, alongside Polish refugees who had fled persecution in Europe.

A local man who was a small child during the turbulent period of the Second World War, recalls the way Impney Hall was surrounded by barbed wire, and particularly the rather curious way that one of the posts supporting the wire had been “positioned in the middle of the drive, just a few yards away from the front door… I remember thinking what a funny place for a post… right in the middle of the roadway”.  The gentlemen also remember the presence of U.S. soldiers in Droitwich, and how local children would greet them with Winston Churchill’s two fingered salute, not always executed correctly!

A venue steeped in history, Chateau Impney’s fascinating and varied heritage contributes to the wonderful atmosphere can look forward to experiencing at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb 2018 on 7 & 8 July. Purchase your tickets here.

Alternatively, VIP tickets are also on sale now and in high demand for those looking to enjoy CIHC2018 in unparalleled luxury. 

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